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Veteran Member - Level 13
If you're following more than one GIO member on Twitter, it's more than likely that you've heard about some new game on XBox Live that just come out.
Trials Evolution is the sequel to the hit game Trials HD that was all the rage a couple of years ago.
What? You've never heard of either one of them? First, I have to express serious doubt that you've spent any time on this or any other video game site if that's true.
Secondly, I have to express my belief that you're pulling my leg.
Because everybody's heard of it. They may not like it, they may not play it. But they've heard of it. It's setting records!
(Thanks to Edge)
Those who are my friends on Xbox Live (and if you're not, why not?????) might have seen that I gave Trials Evolution a try the last couple of days. I think I've put a couple of hours into the trial version (HA! See what I did there?). The annoying thing about the trial version of any game is that it doesn't save your progress, though, so I haven't actually even reached the end of the available levels.
Despite all the hoopla and all of my friends recommending it, I'm not going to be spending my $15 on it.
That's because I finally have learned what my limitations are.
After being defeated by Ms. Splosion Man, doing better than I thought in Super Meat Boy before finally succumbing to the inevitable, and being defeated by Oozi (an indie platformer game that I was supposed to review for another site but had to finally admit that I couldn't finish), I have realized that there are just certain games, or types of games, that I shouldn't play.
Yes, they may be incredible games. I would never not recommend a game because I found it too hard or frustrating to play (unless those difficulties were caused by the controls or AI or other actual gameplay issues). I'm sure Trials Evolution is a great game and deserves every kudo that it gets.
But after two hours of playing some of the *Beginning* levels in the trial version, I know my frustration level would go through the roof. There are some games that are hard but fun, where you get a great sense of accomplishment after finally beating the level. They don't feel impossible (again, I mean impossible *for me*). I have to admit that I did get that feeling of accomplishment after completing a couple of the tracks in the trial version.
That's just it, though. These were the first two or three levels in the game. I'm getting that "against all odds, I finally beat that d*mned thing!" feeling about the first two levels! There are 135 stages in this game, and that's not even counting the Extreme ones that you open up at the end of it. If I'm feeling overwhelmed by the beginning, I know I'll be like this after 10-15.
(Thanks to The Cleveland Fan)
And, even though it's going a bit grey, I like my hair.
For the first time, I'm resisting the siren call of the friends who positively love a game, not giving in to their "but it's a lot of fun!" reassurances.
Yes, I am laughing my ass off at the number of different ways I'm able to faceplant my rider in Trials Evolution.
(Thanks to The Reticule)
But that gets old after a while. And the frustration will still be there.
I have learned to know my limitations, know when I will get too frustrated with a game to really get my money's worth out of it, and avoid it, no matter how many rave reviews it gets. We all have genres that we don't enjoy that we avoid. Mine is fighting games, like Street Fighter. I don't go near them because I have never enjoyed them. I don't know if I'd be good or not.
Other genres, I have to test things out. I have decided that I'm never going to offer to review a platformer game, because like Oozi, it may get to the point where I can't finish it, or even complete enough of it to do a good review. Others, like the first Splosion Man, I will be able to enjoy and finish, even if they do feel really difficult. But if I can't try them out, or if I can't just drop it at some point, I'm not going to even try.
It will definitely save me some money.
Like $15 last night!
It seems like I can't stop downloading from the XBLA Market. I totally understand that excruciatingly difficult games are not for everybody but I personally love them. I'm never one to lose my temper (knock on wood) so while it took me a long time to beat Ms. Splosion Man and Super Meat Boy, I still did. Great blog and if you don't want to spend $15 being angry then it's better for you.
There's just something about these games that pull me in. Dark Souls is a great example. I knew going in that I was going to get frustrated and annoyed. And sure enough, there were times I hated it, I turned my system off more times then I cared to admit lol.
But sooner or later, it always pulled me back in. I get this weird urge to master these games, which is why I both love and hate them...I think I may have a problem lol.
Thanks for the great comments, guys.
@Le Hannibal: Super Meat Boy's a rarity for me in that the crushing difficulty finally made me succumb, but I got far enough into it and had enough fun doing it that I feel i still got my money's worth out of it. I'm not even sure how far I got, but I'd say it's definitely worth it, especially if you get it on sale like I did.
@Chris: Yeah, it's more about knowing limitations than anything else. Maybe somebody else's limitations are something else? But I know myself well enough now that when I get to a certain point of trying over and over and over and....well, anyway. When I get to that point, I start to get too frustrated to continue and I put the controller down or play something else. If I have multiple days in a row stuck on the same area, then I give up.
@Raven K: I'm sort of the same way, though there are plenty of games coming out now that I've been hitting instead of the big titles from last year. The problem is they're all RPGs of some kind, so they're also time sinks (Kingdoms of Amalur was 69 hours and there's still more I could do, Mass Effect 3, and now Witcher 2)
And I'm not really into motorbike racing, so that's probably another strike against Trials for me. So thanks for the suggestions, but I think I'll pass. :)
@Masterassassin: Some people thrive on excessively challenging games, and I'm glad that they do well with them. I just know that I can't. You should see somebody about that. :P
@Shootist2600: Why do you always have to be the exception that proves the rule? :P
I'm so thankful that Xbox Live games have free trials. And now that I have the 250GB Xbox, I can actually download a bunch of them and try them before I buy.
I ended up giving up on N+ after some of the higher-up levels. Games that difficult just aren't for me.
For me it comes down to the fact that I don't like wasting time not making any progress playing Demon's Souls when I could be further in a different game that still posses a challenge but doesn't leave me feeling broken and frustrated. I don't have all day to game anymore so I want my time gaming to be as meaningful and as fun as it can be. I don't mind playing the same level a couple of times but sooner or later I need to make it some where that I can exhale if you know what I mean. By the way this article was great.